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Cat Peeing Outside Litter Box Anxiety

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How Do We Determine If The Cause Is Behavioral

When all medical problems have been treated or ruled out and the house soiling persists, a complete and comprehensive behavioral history will be necessary in order to establish a diagnosis and treatment plan. This includes information about the home environment, litter box type and litter used, litter box maintenance and placement, and the onset, frequency, duration and progression of problem elimination behaviors. Other factors that may be important include new pets in the household, any household changes that might have occurred around the time the problem began, and any patterns to the elimination such as the time of day, particular days of the week, or seasonal variations. Relationships between the soiling cat and other animals and people in the home need to be examined. The number and placement of litter boxes is extremely important in multi-cat households and if inappropriate or undesirable for one or more of the cats, may contribute to the house soiling.Other information required is whether the cat is using the litter box at all, and the location of inappropriate elimination including types of surface, whether on horizontal or vertical surfaces, and whether it is urine, stools, or both.

Clean Up All Urine Accidents Properly To Discourage Peeing Outside The Box

Between your care as a cat parent and the help of your veterinarian, youll have your kitty on the mend and back in the litter box soon. And one more thing: make sure you clean up any urine outside of the litter box completely, so that your cat doesnt return to that area to pee again. This is very important for re-training them to use the litter box and not picking up new habits. Try ARM & HAMMER Pet Stain and Odor Eliminator Plus OxiClean to neutralize the urine smell and remove stains.

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How To Stop Inappropriate Litter Box Behavior

Perhaps the most common reason cats urinate inappropriately is that they dislike the litter box. If your cat is peeing everywhere and you’ve ruled out medical issues, then it’s time to reassess your litter boxes.

In general, the key to stopping inappropriate urination in cats or avoiding it altogether is as simple as being a responsible, attentive cat owner. Keep your cat healthy and visit the vet for routine care and as soon as issues crop up. Minimize stress in your cat’s environment and try to keep a cat-friendly, low-stress home.

How To Make Sure Your Cat Uses The Litter Box

Why Is My Cat Peeing Outside the Litter Box?

While most cats will have already mastered the art of peeing inside of the litter box by the time they make their way into your home, there are simple ways to keep them healthy, happy, and using their litter box correctly:

  • How often do you clean out your cats litter? Its important to make sure that you clean out the litter box on a daily basis. Letting things pile up in your cats litter can cause them to go looking elsewhere when its time to relieve themselves.
  • Whats the best litter for cats? The litter your cat likes! Use the litter that your cat has used without issue in the past. Switching the type of litter you use could stress your cat out and cause them to form an aversion to the litter box.
  • Keep your cats litter box away from their food and water. Most animals will naturally not want to go to the bathroom near their food and water.
  • Are they recovering from a medical issue like a UTI? If so, they probably associate the discomfort they felt from the infection with the litter box. You can mix a cat litter attractant in with your normal litter to encourage your cat to use the litter box again. This should help reassure them that the litter box is a safe place.
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    Could There Be A Medical Reason That My Cat Is House Soiling

    Medical diseases of the urinary tract can cause inappropriate elimination. There are many such conditions, including stones and crystal formation in the bladder, bacterial infections, and a group of inflammatory diseases of the bladder and urinary tract of unknown origin that cause pain and an increased urgency to urinate. Diseases of the kidneys and liver can cause the cat to drink more and urinate more frequently. In addition, age related cognitive decline or endocrine disorders such as hyperthyroidism and diabetes might lead to changes in elimination habits including house soiling. Medical problems that lead to difficulty or discomfort in passing stools, poor bowel control or an increased frequency of defecation could all contribute to house soiling with stools. Colitis, constipation, and anal sac diseases are just a few of the medical problems that need to be ruled out when determining the cause of inappropriate defecation. Another consideration is the pets mobility and sensory function. Medical conditions affecting the nerves, muscles, or joints could lead to enough discomfort, stiffness or weakness that the cat may not be able to get to the litter box, climb into the litter box, or get into a comfortable position for elimination while in the litter box.

    “If elimination is associated with pain or discomfort, the cat may begin to eliminate outside the box.”

    What Are The Signs Of Separation Anxiety In Cats

    If a change in schedule is sudden or youre unable to ease your kitty into the new routine, pay attention to the possible signs of cat separation anxiety, including:

    • Excessive vocalization
    • Eliminating in inappropriate places
    • Not eating or drinking while you are away
    • Excessive self-grooming
    • Vomiting
    • Eating too fast

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    How Will I Know If The Problem Is Improving

    “If frequency of elimination in the litter box is not increasing, changes to the treatment plan or an alternate diagnosis may need to be considered.”

    Good record keeping is essential to gauge treatment success. In many cases there will initially be an increase in litter box use and a concurrent decrease of elimination in other locations, which will eventually be followed by a total and complete return to litter box usage. Therefore, keeping track of where elimination takes place on a daily basis should help track improvement or the lack of change. If frequency of elimination in the litter box is not increasing, changes to the treatment plan or an alternate diagnosis may need to be considered.

    Stress And Feline Urinary Problems: How To Deal With It

    Ask the Vet: Why is my cat peeing outside the litter box?

    Although it may seem like cats have easy lives, the truth is, cats can get stressed very easily. Feline urinary problems can be one of the first signs your cat is experiencing some type of stress. It is important for cat parents to know what the symptoms look like and how to help their feline friends.

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    Use Thunderease For Cats

    • ThunderEase for Cats is a drug free, calming pheromone diffuser that mimics the natural feline facial pheromone. Cats use this to mark their environment as safe by rubbing their cheeks on objects. The diffuser helps the cats feel calm and confident in the environment and helps reduce signs of stress
    • ThunderEase for Cats is clinically proven to reduce peeing outside of the litter box for 90% of cats and kittens
    • Owners often see results within the first 7 days
    • We realize that no product works for 100% of animals, so we offer a 100% money back guarantee if ThunderEase doesnt work for your cat

    Kitty Is Pacing Or Can’t Sit Still

    Cats sleep a lot, so if your cat is spending more time pacing than sleeping, it’s a sign that kitty is anxious. “For an animal that sleeps up to 16 hours on almost any given day, a restless cat shouldn√Ęt be a difficult sign of anxiety to spot,” iHeart Cats noted. “Humans who suffer from anxiety are known to pace or have difficulty sitting still, and this is true in cats as well. Anxiety triggers sensors in the mind that can cause your cat to feel stressed, nervous, and uneasy for no reason at all.”

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    How Can I Stop My Cat From Peeing Around The House

    If cats peeing outside of the litter box is an issue in your home, follow these tips to stop the incidents:

    • Address any underlying medical issues with your veterinarian.
    • Stick to routines to the best of your ability and introduce any new pets or family members to your cat slowly.
    • Keep the litter box clean.
    • Make sure you are using a litter that your cat likes.
    • Keep the litter box in a location that is easily accessible for your cat and try not to move it if you can help it.

    Not Happy With The Litter Box


    It could simply be that your cat is not satisfied with your choice of a litter box or the type of litter. Sometimes a litter box can be too small for a cat. The best option is a litter box that is 1.5 times the length of your cat. This does not include the tail. Often the tail is kept outside of the box.

    However, once the cat gets into the litter box, they need room to turn about and find a comfortable position to squat. If they cannot turn about quickly, that also causes a problem. Once they have urinated, they need the room to scratch up the litter and cover their tracks. In a too-small litter box, your cat shows that he or she is not pleased by quickly doing their business and just as quickly bolting from the litter box. Most cats enjoy doing a bit of digging in their litter.

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    How To Discipline A Cat For Peeing Outside The Litter Box

    Worried cat owners often wonder how to discipline a cat for peeing outside the litter box. The easy answer is, you dont! Your cat isnt peeing outside the litter box out of spite, and they arent being naughty.

    There is an underlying medical or emotional problem that needs to be addressed. If the underlying issue is not treated, then inappropriate elimination will continue or worsen.

    What Are The General Treatments For Elimination Problems

    Treatment focuses on reestablishing regular litter box usage. The litter material, box, and location may need to be made more appealing . The cat will need to be prevented or deterred from returning to the soiled areas. If there is a component of anxiety or marking behavior, drugs may be useful. Litter trials , location trials and litter box trials may be useful for determining the cats preferences. The cat will need to be confined when it cant be supervised. However, the first step you should take is to review the basics of litter box training .

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    Create A Safe And Quiet Environment

    Put the tray in a quiet location where your cat wont be disturbed, away from their food and water bowls. Try to place the tray in a corner, so your cat can see what is happening around them without turning around. This makes them feel safe.

    The litter tray should be large enough that your cat can turn around in it fully, so around 1.5 times the length of your cat. Most cats have a preference for whichever litter they were weaned on, so try to stick to one that theyve used in the past.

    Litter Box Is Hard To Reach

    How to Stop Your Cat from Peeing Outside the Litter Box

    It is also important to note the position of the litter box. Is it in an area that is always easily accessible by your cat? If it is in a substantial traffic area, this can upset your cat because he or she wants their privacy while on the litter box. It is best to place the litter box away from areas with heavy household traffic and with noise. If the litter box is in a quiet place where your cat can quickly get to it, he or she wont find it a problem to go in the litter box.

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    Medical Causes For Inappropriate Urination In Cats

    Many pet owners become frustrated when their cat chooses to urinate in locations other than the litter box. However, this unpleasant behavior may be a clue that your cat is sick or suffering from a painful infection. Any medical problem that interferes with normal urination can lead to litter box problems, and inappropriate urination. Common medical problems include:

    Bring your cat for a veterinary examination if they are urinating outside the litter box. Your veterinarian may recommend various blood and urine tests to check their organ health, or look for infection. Additionally, imaging, such as X-rays or ultrasound, may be recommended to check for bladder stones and other kidney and urinary tract problems.

    Why Is My Cat Suddenly Peeing Outside The Litter Box

    When your cat pees outside of the litter box, for example on the carpet or in the bath, this is known as inappropriate elimination. If your cat won’t pee in the litter box but will poop there, then the litter box itself is unlikely to be the issue. So, the cause can be either be medical or behavioral.

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    Can Cats Have Separation Anxiety

    Do cats get separation anxiety? Compared to dogs, cats are less commonly diagnosed with separation anxiety. However, some cats do show signs of separation anxiety with their humans. Cats can be treated for separation anxiety with anti-anxiety medications prescribed by a vetbut there are other treatment options to try before resorting to medication. Well discuss how to deal with a cat with separation anxiety below!

    Is It Normal For My Cat To Pee Everywhere

    How Can I Stop My Cat Peeing Outside The Litter Box?

    While it may be a common issue that cat parents deal with, its important to note that it is not normal for your cat to have a change in behavior that includes peeing outside of the litter box. If you have ever found yourself looking up reasons why your cat is peeing everywhere, you may need to have your cat evaluated by a veterinarian. There is almost always an underlying issue that needs to be addressed in order to get your cat to use their litter box again.

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    How Can I Tell What My Cat Would Prefer

    To determine the most suitable litter for your cat, first determine what type of litter your cat seems to be avoiding and what type of surface your cat prefers to use. Then set up two or more boxes that are identical and fill the boxes with two different types of litter . Some cats may prefer a clumping litter, cedar shavings, recycled newspaper, or plastic pearls. For cats that prefer solid or hard surfaces, an empty litter box, or one with minimal litter might do. A carpeted ledge around the box, artificial turf or some discarded or shredded carpet might help to increase the appeal for cats that prefer to eliminate on carpets, while some potting soil or a mixture of sand and soil, may be preferable for cats that eliminate in plants or soil. Making a good choice may require a little imagination and should be based on the type of surfaces in the home on which the cat is eliminating. If you prefer scented brands of litters, make sure this is also acceptable to your cat by comparing to an unscented brand. In your preference testing, if you find one litter type that is a clear favorite, discard the second type and continue your testing with other products. There are also commercial litter box attractants that might be useful.

    “Making a good choice may require a little imagination and should be based on the type of surfaces in the home on which the cat is eliminating.”

    My Cat Is Defecating Outside The Litter Box What Should I Do

    Medical problems must first be ruled out. Therefore careful attention to the cats general health and mobility as well as to stool consistency and frequency are critical. Cats may defecate outside of the litter box if they have colitis or are constipated. Observation of the elimination may help to rule out pain and avoidance issues. If the stool is found in a linear pattern, the problem may be intercat aggression or it may be due to constipation. Once medical problems have been identified and treated defecation outside of the box is diagnosed and treated in much the same manner as for urination house soiling. It may be caused by substrate or location preferences or the problem may arise out of avoidance of the present litter, box or location. Treatment includes preference testing to find the preferred litter, box and area while preventing or deterring use of inappropriate areas. Confinement and supervision training can be particularly useful for inappropriate defecation. Start with a regular routine of feeding and play sessions and keep a diary of when and where the pet eliminates. Most cats tend to be regular in their patterns and frequency of bowel movements. Confinement may only be necessary at times when the pet may be due for defecation. The cat might then be allowed out of its litter confinement area until defecation is again due, at which time the pet should be closely supervised to inhibit and encourage regular use or again confined.

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